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Activist hands ICC alleged evidence of Lukashenka’s involvement in Russia’s Ukraine children abductions

Exiled Belarus activist presents ICC dossier revealing Belarus ruler Lukashenka’s complicity in illegally deporting Ukrainian children to Belarus, incorporating insider insights.
Ukrainian children in a camp for deportees in Bezimenne, Doentsk Oblast. March 2023. (Photo:
Activist hands ICC alleged evidence of Lukashenka’s involvement in Russia’s Ukraine children abductions

On 7 November, an exiled Belarus activist submitted a second dossier to the International Criminal Court in The Hague that he said contains evidence proving Belarus ruler Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s personal involvement in the illegal transfer of children to Belarus from Russian-occupied towns in Ukraine, AP reports.

Former Belarusian culture minister Pavel Latushka said some new information came from Belarusian “insiders.”

“We share additional evidence proving Lukashenko’s direct participation in the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus as leader of the so-called Union State of Belarus and Russia,” Latushka told AP.

He says the dossier contains evidence and new information concerning the participation of Belarusian and Russian entities, along with their leaders and members, in the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Belarus. It also provides details about a state-run camp’s “re-education program for Ukrainian children” designed to instill “Russian world” narratives in them. Furthermore, the dossier includes the personal information of 37 Ukrainian children who were allegedly illegally moved from Ukraine to Belarus, as stated by Latushka.

According to AP, Latushka handed the International Criminal Court information allegedly indicating that more than 2,100 Ukrainian children from at least 15 Russia-occupied Ukrainian cities had been forcibly taken to Belarus with Lukashenka’s approval. Later Lukashenka rejected these accusations, claiming that Belarus had temporarily hosted the children to help them recover from the war’s trauma.

Abduction of Ukrainian children by Russia

During the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War, Russia has forcibly relocated thousands of Ukrainian children, subjecting them to a complex web of violations, including assignment of Russian citizenship, forced adoption into Russian families, and hindrances to reuniting with their parents and homeland.

The United Nations has denounced these actions as war crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova due to their alleged complicity in these activities. Furthermore, under international law, such actions may potentially be classified as genocide, especially if they are found to have been executed with the intent to obliterate the national identity of these Ukrainian children.

In September, a European Parliament’s resolution branded Belarusian ruler Lukashenka an accomplice in Russia’s war crimes.

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